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Every once and awhile I get a message either on my blog, or sent to me from a friend via a private message, that lets me know that people appreciate me sharing my story, my struggles, my triumphs and my thoughts.

These messages mean the world to me and I know that I need to do better at keeping up with it.

However, in the spirit of my burgeoning philosophy of self-love and self-care, I acknowledge that it is an area in which I need to do better, but I’m not beating myself up for it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally tempted to beat myself up for being so slack, lazy, lame, selfish and not getting up and putting the effort in…(see how easily all those words came to me…) BUT….I’m turning it around and telling myself exactly what I would tell someone else: ‘It’s ok. You’ve been going through a lot and you’ve been doing your best. Don’t be so hard on yourself. One step at a time.”

In fact, that’s another life lesson I am finally beginning to understand. All my life I have been able to give others greater support, encouragement, advice and patience than I give to myself. So, I’ve been practicing this thing where, when I notice negative self-thoughts arising, I pretend that it’s a friend talking to me and I tell myself what I would say to them. And, when I say that, I don’t mean just the pleasant, fluffy, things, but the difficult things as well.

I have a close friend who has also said some pretty tough things to me when I needed to hear them. Having friends who can speak the truth to you, in love, when you need to hear it is important as well.

I have had a difficult time making new friends since we moved countries and I am only just beginning to understand how important good friendships have been in my life. Good friends accept us for who we are while not letting us remain who we are. Marriage does the same, as does being a parent, but the problem with familial relationships is that they become too personal. There’s more baggage that comes-along with it all. When a friend talks it just feels less…complicated.

And so, I am learning to be a friend to myself. Also, to really try to embrace the friendships that I have and reach-out to them more. That’s why I write. 

Thus, as I am sitting here, writing, eating a bowl of chips and a jersey milk chocolate bar, my friend is saying to me: ‘Ok, you did that. Now, move on. The next time you put something in your mouth, be sure it’s something that really feeds your body and makes you feel good about yourself. You deserve that.” (Btw…it’s also a reminder I received from a friend today, so THANK YOU!).